Dr. Rand Paul And Dr. Fauci Spark Fiery Debate Over Alleged Wuhan Lab
Rand Paul and Anthony Fauci have been sparring over the virus
Sen. Rand Paul and Dr. Anthony Fauci sparred again at a Senate hearing Tuesday, this time about funding for the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a Chinese lab suspected of playing a part in the original COVID-19 outbreak.
Fauci and Paul have also clashed about COVID-19 and similar restrictions including lockdowns and mask-wearing. On Tuesday, Paul focused on benefit of function research, which aims to make pathogens more deadly or transmissible.
He claimed that a US virologist was working on such research with the Chinese institute, and that it was funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH).
“Dr. Fauci, do you still support funding of the NIH funding of the lab in Wuhan?” Sen. Paul asked.
“Senator Paul, with all due respect, you are entirely, entirely and completely incorrect. The NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain of function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” Fauci responded.
He claims that the doctor in question doesn’t perform gain of function research, even if he does, it’s done in accordance with guidelines and in North Carolina, not China.
Paul continued, stating that it was a benefit of operation and that the Wuhan Institute was formerly funded by a sub grant. Fauci responded that the US would have been reckless not to investigate the bat viruses and their serology in China, one of which was COVID.
“Or perhaps it would be irresponsible to send it to the Chinese government that we may not be able to trust with this knowledge and with this incredibly dangerous viruses,” Paul pressed, accusing Fauci of supporting benefit of operation, a suggestion Fauci later dismissed as “incorrect.”
While several experts have questioned whether the virus emerged in the hospital, US officials during the Trump administration agreed it did. However, inquiries have been hindered thus far by the Chinese regime’s secrecy.
The World Health Organization (WHO) dispatched a team to Wuhan earlier this year to study the epidemic, but also the Biden administration has voiced worry over Chinese involvement, despite being less hawkish on the WHO and China than the previous administration.
WHO dismissed the theory that the virus originated in a lab in early February according to a report from Fox News.
“We have deep concerns about the way in which the early findings of the COVID-19 investigation were communicated and questions about the process used to reach them,” National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said in a lengthy statement. “It is imperative that this report be independent, with expert findings free from intervention or alteration by the Chinese government,” the outlet reported.